3.05: Children of Earth - Day Five

Discussion in 'Torchwood' started by Lenny, Jul 10, 2009.

  1.  
    Lenny

    Lenny Edit Ninja In Training

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    Torchwood is defenceless, and Gwen Cooper stands alone, as the final sanction begins. As violence erupts and the world descends into anarchy, an ordinary council estate becomes a battleground where the future of the human race will be decided.

    ---

    I'm not going to be here again, and I'd hate for you all to be wandering around lost without a thread to post in. ;)

    Questions carried over from 3.04:

    - Is there more to Dekker, or is he simply an old hand? He is the one who knows the most about the room built for the 456, and he survived the attack on Thames House. Will he take more of an active role?
    - UNIT claimed to be "onto" Torchwood back in the first episode, but so far all they've done is agree with the Americans.
    - Why don't the government train their armed forces properly?
    - Who was the third body in Ashton Down? Is it actually important?

    Not many. Clem was killed by the 456, Torchwood are now part of it (having muscled their way in and getting a building of civil servants killed. "Yay"?), we know what happened in 1965 (not too bad, considering), and we have an idea about the 456.

    So, how will it end? A few people are wondering if the Doctor might pop in (even though that will be a huge sell-out on RTD's part), but general consensus seems to be that Jack is pretty annoyed, and will leap in, guns a-blazing.

    But that does beg the question - how does one actually fight the 456?

    I look forward to seeing the episode when I have time. See you all later! *wave*
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    Xael

    Xael New Member

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    A pretty good mini-series overall I think, although I didn't think the last episode was the strongest. Hate to say it in all fairness, but I hope that's the end of Torchwood, I think it would better the programme ended on what we know and love, rather than slip away with a reimaging.
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    scoots83

    scoots83 New Member

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    I have to agree with only 2 of the original cast left they cant come back for another series as would be new cast new "hub" and just wouldn't be the same.
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    Mary Hoffman

    Mary Hoffman Writer

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    I don't hope it because I've loved it but I fear it. Jack, Gwen and Lois + Rhys in the background and some new doctor type wouldn't really add up to the TW I've known and loved.

    And I couldn't bear what happened with Frobisher. Or Stephen.

    Going to bed very unhappy.
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    Ursa major

    Ursa major Bearly Believable Staff Member

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    The decision as to whether there will be another Torchwood series will be based on how successful this one is seen to have been in terms of audience and impact.

    I don't know how many viewers watched the first two series, but I would imagine that an awful lot of people - up to half? more than that? - who saw this series will not have seen a single previous episode. To them, all the Torchwood personnel (apart, probably**, from Captain Jack) will have been new to them. If there is another series, with a team built around Jack and Gwen, those people will watch (or not) based on how they saw this series.




    ** - based on his appearances on Doctor Who - but many will not have watched what they would assume to be a programme for children and young adults.
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    Xael

    Xael New Member

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    Too true I suppose, time will tell. It'll be a different show, for better or for worse.

    (Probably worse for lack of Ianto :))
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    Tillane

    Tillane Left-minded

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    Agreed, Ursa. A lot of people watching this series may well be watching for the first time and therefore won't have any kind of attachment to the characters, so seeing Ianto go won't have too great an impact on whether they'll watch the next series. As to audience figures, Wiki (not the most reliable resource, but nice and easy to find) is quoting just shy of 6m viewers for the first three episodes and about six-and-a-quarter for ep4. I'd imagine that tonight's ep will probably top that again, but whether it's enough to convince the BBC to make another series (for BBC1, at least), I don't know.

    To the episode itself...I thought it was, for the most part, excellent. Very dark, particularly the stuff with Frobisher and Steven, but very well handled - very tense, and never going over the top with the action or straying into schmaltz. Where they'd go from here I don't know, but if they keep making episodes (and series) as good as that, I for one will keep watching.
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    Ursa major

    Ursa major Bearly Believable Staff Member

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    I'm still trying to digest the episode, but I thought it was telling that the Doctor was invoked twice (the same material repeated) in a final episode that could not be further from the usual Dr Who happy(-ish) ending. Surprisingly** powerful.

    And the thought that the woman who suggested the skewed allocation of children is now blackmailing the PM to gain more power for herself was very chilling.




    ** - Sad to say, I was still expecting a cop-out ending quite a way into this episode. Well done to the programme's makers for not giving us one. (Even the knocked-up-on-the-spur-of-the-moment technical solution was tragic rather than feelgood.)
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    Tillane

    Tillane Left-minded

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    Absolutely - wouldn't have thought she had any cause to think that, either, given that she's also on the recordings. The PM would be disgraced, but she wouldn't exactly be far behind, surely?

    You're spot-on about the ending, too. I was dreading another "it's okay! We've reversed everything!" ending a la Who, but to the writers' credit they didn't flinch once in giving us a very downbeat end. Certainly didn't feel like a victory, did it?
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    Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

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    Me too!

    I've not much to say save the ending was not very uplifting, but Torchwood did win out, and they sort of did it the way I said, though I don't think I could have done what Jack had to do.

    UNIT still did nothing, and the reason they needed the children was unexpected but insignificant.

    I'd be happy to watch a new series with new recruits. In real life, teams are always changing. For me, it would have to have Jack and Gwen in it. We've seen that the Torchwood3 team has had frequent changes in the past, so nothing new there.

    I expect they would recruit Lois and Johnson to keep it in the family, but did we ever find out who Johnson worked for?

    And they'll be needing a new Hub.

    I'd like to see how that's done. Those super underground James Bond villain complexes still need plans and construction workers, shop fitters and building materials. How do they keep it secret?

    Torchwood1 built One Canada Square in Canary Wharf. Who knew that? And Torchwood3 built the Hub under Roald Dahl Plas without anyone noticing. maybe it's that memory drug?
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    HareBrain

    HareBrain Lagomorphing Staff Member

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    Not as good as episode 3 or 4, and there were some glaring bits of nonsense. Like, if they found they didn't have enough kids, why not just start bussing in the ones from the next rank of schools up, rather than sending in soldiers to clear houses one by one? The army is nowhere near big enough to do that, and it would have taken far more time.

    And the sacrifice of Stephen - for that to have worked, it should have been something that, with hindsight, was inevitable almost from the outset, not something tagged on at the end to give it some supposed emotional wallop.

    BTW, I missed eps 1 and 2 - was it explained why the 456 are able to speak through the kids in the first place (which also presumably made them vulnerable to being shouted at at the end, though that also lacked plausibility, especially given the realistic feel of the government stuff).

    Having said all that, I'll definitely give Torchwood another go if it reappears; I very quickly gave up on it at the start of the first series.
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    ctg

    ctg weaver of the unseen

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    No, it wasn't explained, but you can check all the episodes by using an iPlayer, and as it's a BBC program the channel Dave will show them in near future twenty, probably thirty times. So you cannot actually miss them ;)
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    Interference

    Interference Destroyer of Words

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    This was quite a coup for RTD, a BBC miniseries, obviously tailored somewhat to the overseas market. The money may now come from America to start the whole thing afresh, with perhaps a bigger Torchwood organisation and less of the rogue saviours shagging everything that moves ethos. I doubt RTD is depending on DW and Sarah Jane for his pension, so his departure from DW is probably a significant move into a Torchwood franchise.
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    SJAB

    SJAB The storyteller

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    All in all not a bad series, some scenes didn't work, so did some of the themes.

    What I liked was the "them and us" with the working class vs the middle class. Dr Who and previous Torchwood, has always had a touch of middle class niceness about it. The social comment was there in this and I liked it. I also liked that it wasn't sweetness, kiss it all better ending. Yes, the world was saved, but there was a price paid by everyone.

    To be honest though there were a lot of faults, and some dodgy acting/writing in some parts, this is what Torchwood should have been from the beginning, then it would have had a chance to get stronger.
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    Lenny

    Lenny Edit Ninja In Training

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    A huge step in the other direction to the Doctor Who finales we've been seeing - RTD is more than a one trick pony!

    ---

    I'd like Torchwood to return (indeed, the fourth and fifth series have been written, and both John Barrowman and Eve Myles have commented on them so they should be back), but I can't see it returning next year. 2011 would make a lot of sense to potential storylines, too - Gwen's child will be growing up (saying that, this series was set in September 2009 - nine months on is June 2010. The child will be just about one year old if TW returns in 2011) and she'll have had no job with the TW hub destroyed (yeah, she can easily be the team leader, but I can't see her rebuilding without Jack). Jack wil turn up, and the next series may well be a rebuild and recruit (fourth series, a fourth restart? :p).

    ---

    What happened to John Frobisher, and Jack's grandson Steven, would never be seen in a DW episode, even if it called for it - I think RTD has finally hit the right balance for an "adult" DW.

    ---

    Viewing figures of Series 1 and 2 for Ursa:

    Series 1: 0.82 (Ep. 11) -- 2.51 (Ep. 1).

    The finale got 1.23, but the series as a whole dropped continuously from Ep. 1 to Ep. 11 (well, there was a brief increase after Ep. 6, which was Countrycide, but it dropped the next week).

    Series 2: 2.52 (Ep. 11) -- 4.22 (Ep. 1).

    Obviously the move from BBC3 to BBC2 helped, but the series again saw a drop in viewing figures as it progressed, with the finale getting 3.13 million.

    If the Beeb allowed RTD to make a second series, and then a third, after the not-so-fantastic outings of the first and second series, I don't think they'll stop him making a fourth after a decent outing with his third (it more or less doubled the Series 2 figures). :p

    ---

    The ending was incredibly different. I was watching it with my friend and his brother, and they were both betting against me that the Doctor would appear. I won me a fiver. :)

    ---

    UNIT... what a disappointment! That is all.

    ---

    I think Johnson worked for the government (or at least Frobisher) - if she didn't actually state it, it was implied in a few scenes, particularly in the second episode when Frobisher got a call about Jack and told the other side to keep him under surveillance. Later he got another call (this time I think we saw Johnson on the other end), telling him that there was no need for a DNA test.

    Dave: The memory drug is retcon, if I remember correctly. I still can't work out why it's called that!
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    Tillane

    Tillane Left-minded

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    Retroactive continuity. It's a fairly common trope in comics.;)
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    Rothgar

    Rothgar New Member

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    Wow! Just finished watching Day 5. This series of episodes was fantastic compared to what Torchwood has given us in the past. I hope that they are given the opportunity to repeat this success in the future.
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    TheEndIsNigh

    TheEndIsNigh ...Prepare Thyself

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    Wait a minute.

    First off: UNIT - has always been a bunch of weirdo wet rags. Brig. Leftarse Stewpot started the trend and it's never got any better. The nonsense with the doomsday bomb shows that. Even worse the determination in that sequence of never giving in was completely overturned with the stupid idea that they would give away children at the peak of the DW (60's) era. It seems any continuity of the DW TW series seems to end at the transmitter.

    The concept that the US would be able to send some tin pot general to tell people what to do belays the realms of fantasy these script writers live in. The world isn't like that and to suggest it is makes the plot stupid. Set in the future maybe 200 years you could possibly get away with it being plausible, never in current time. Look at the real world. The US can't even tell a tin pot dictator (nowadays) where to get off, what chance would they have with us awkward bas**rds.

    As in :-

    Oh sorry we upset you Mr. Hitler, pease take our children and turn them into drugs for your soldiers.

    TW will be returning. The whole point of this mini series was to introduce the characters of the new series that I'm told will run for at least ten years. It will be based on a small welsh housing estate and feature the parents and children introduced with Yanto's sister. It’ll be called :-

    “Torchside”​

    IMO:

    The plot was weak, the ending was ridiculous - sticking a lad on a metal plate and playing noises to him suddenly turns him into some mega watt transmitter that affects every other kid on the planet - come on where's the science in that. That this transmission should destroy a race (that is far enough away to be undetected) in seconds - rot. That the beings that are so far away can travel to Earth using a method that took about 15-20 seconds to travel 20000 feet - drivel

    The nonsense that somebody can run through a building where people are being killed instantly by a virus - climb into a Hasmat suit and hence survive - complete and utter - crap.

    Then there's the last stroke of mediocrity. Some alien race - we know not who -having abducted children using a transport method that was never explained have to get the governments of the world to agree a deal whereby they will give up 10% of the children of the planet. Why? Why not just snaffle them at will. Why wait for 40 years for another fix of child juice. Why not just come and get them when they like.

    Then the suggestion that 'Capt. HarkUntoMe' can detect a 'friendly' space ship at the edge of our solar system (using the old 'Big Toe'*1 method presumably) Has the ability to contact it and transport to it and yet for him never to have had the gumption to do that when the crisis was upon us - maybe to get some help - is just lazy scripting.

    No sorry this was crap. I can understand average Joe public being taken in but come on guys. We revel in SCIENCE FICTION. This wasn't it. There will be BBC producers rubbing there hands with glee at the success of this mini series. We of all people should not encourage them to make more of this frankly, dross . I'd rather watch repeats of Quatermass and the Pit in black and white than see more of this rubbish grace our screens again.

    And while on the topic - Adult themes. If adult themes means that children can get hurt, or used for the greater good, or that somebody will be sha**ing somebody/thing from another planet at any point in the plot then god help us. Adult themes should be something that makes us scared witless and have nightmares for the next two weeks. Adult themes should make any child watching it need therapy for a few years. Adult themes should give you the heebee geebees and make you never want to turn the telly on again, except to watch the Waltons or Corrie.
    (scary thoughts in themselves mind)

    When Quatermass and the pit was originally shown, I had to be taken into the kitchen to play cards and listen to the radio with my mother. My parents, rightly IMO, thought it was too disturbing for a seven or eight year old to be sent to bed and have to listen to it filtering up from the living room, alone in the dark. It was bad enough in the kitchen with my mother with the radio on.





    *1 The Big Toe Method - When a spaceship passes though the magnetic field of Uranus, certain people are able to detect the gravitation disturbance as their big toe twinges synchronously to the inverse mass of the space ship.
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    mercs

    mercs New Member

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    I don't think it was that bad, but yeah I didn't like the mini-series that much. I didn't get the emotion with killing his grandson, perhaps because the kid was only on screen for about 2 minutes and was never mentioned previously. I also thought it was a cop out and a strange decision all things considering...

    The premise of the script was alright, the execution could have been better. and although they are saying there will be more torchwood, it did have an ending sort of feel to it. i don't see how they have a team without throwing even more characters randomly at us, plus i'm not sure where else they are going to go from there...
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    Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

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    TEIN - I think you are overplaying it a little.

    Firstly, I thought it was a gas not a virus, but I'll agree that that part didn't work. I didn't like Dekker's attitude anyway. If I was Jack I would probably have just shot him while he sniveled.

    I'd say 1965 was before the Doctor got involved with UNIT and the UK Government has never been shown in a good light in dealings with aliens. They clearly read the Axon aliens wrong, but since 99% of aliens we meet lie to us and are here only to wipe us out/ exterminate/ steal our resources/ make us our slaves they might have started to realise that now.

    I think they only killed (or hurt!) the 456 in the glass cage. There was no suggestion that they killed all 456, though they may be linked by this transmission. It was all vague and no doubt they could return. I agree that the method "sticking a lad on a metal plate and playing noises to him suddenly turns him into some mega watt transmitter" was drivel, but no more than I have come to expect. Maybe I should ask myself we my expectations are so low?

    Adult themes - yes I partly agree, but what this did give us was no happy ending. There are consequences, there is lasting bitterness, there were deaths of innocents. There were choices to be made that were not comfortable? Did you not find yourself asking why you felt the death of Steven to save everyone was acceptable, but the 'death' of 10,000 children was not? Where was the difference in that? Is it because in Steven's death we were fighting back rather than the submissive stance taken earlier? What does this aggression say about us and our society? For a welcome change, Torchwood wasn't just about sex with aliens.

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